SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) PRESS RELEASE
Graphic Footage of Animal Cruelty Released
Jordan Valley, OR (May 21, 2013) — SHARK has uncovered disturbing ties between the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department and the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo. These ties may explain why Malheur County Sheriff officers not only violently arrested SHARK volunteer Adam Fahnestock who was filming the 2013 Big Loop Rodeo, but forced another SHARK volunteer to leave the arena.
At the 2012 rodeo, SHARK filmed such graphic animal cruelty that the videos went viral, with over 200,000 views and spurred the Oregon State legislature to consider banning horse tripping. You can view the two videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmp8pkbU03I and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsDPzurUZjY
On Friday, May 17, 2013, the first day of the rodeo, Fahnestock filmed horrific acts of cruelty, including one animal with a severely broken leg and two horses that were slammed to the ground. SHARK is now releasing that video, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGi5wbXVkIs
Fearing that this new footage would cause similar outrage, on Saturday, May 18, Malheur County Sheriff’s officers swept in, arrested Fahnestock and ordered another activist to leave. On Sunday, May 19, they repeated their misconduct by ordering SHARK President Steve Hindi to leave the rodeo as well.
SHARK has initiated an investigation into the existing connections between the rodeo and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department who the group accuses of violations of free speech, and using intimidation tactics. The following is part of the report. The full report is available upon request.
- The Malheur County Sheriff’s Department also has direct ties to the Big Loop Rodeo through their deputies. In his testimony before the above-mentioned Senate committee, Jordan Valley Mayor Jake Roe stated, “The Sheriff’s posse sells food at the park to raise money…” Jerry Raburn, an official with the Jordan Valley Rodeo Association, told the Senate Committee that “Not only is the rodeo a boost for the businesses here, but also for volunteer groups, service organizations, schools and churches,” including the “Malheur County Sheriff’s Deputies.”
- According to Malheur County Sheriff Sergeant Richard Harriman, who, along with Bob Wroten forced one of SHARK’s activists to leave the rodeo, that Wroten himself was not only a Malheur County Deputy, but also held a dual position on the “rodeo board.”
- Malheur County Sheriff Brian E. Wolfe defended the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo and horse tripping in a letter sent to the Oregon State Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, which recently held a hearing on a bill to ban “horse tripping.” Wolfe misused his official county stationary and position as Sheriff to made a political statement when he said “I personally oppose any and all legislation, laws, or rules prohibiting Rodeo events including Horse Roping.”
“We now know that the Malheur County Sheriff Officers, the same men who violated the rights of our activists, have deep ties to the rodeo,” states SHARK President Steve Hindi. “When they saw the cruelty that was documented on the first day, they abused their power on the second and third day to make sure that no more video would make it to public view. That’s outrageous, and the Sheriff’s office needs to be held accountable for acting like thugs protecting a good old boys network of animal abuse and cruelty.”
If you are a resident of Oregon, please contact your State legislators to support SB 835.
If you live in or outside the state of Oregon and want this practice banned, please:
- Write to the Governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, and express your feelings about this egregious abuse and cruelty. Post on his Facebook page; tweet him http://twitter.com/govkitz or @govkitz.
- Contact Travel Oregon and if you agree, tell them you will not visit or do business with a State that does nothing to stop this. Post on their Facebook page and tweet them at http://twitter.com/traveloregon or @TravelOregon.
- Contact the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce and file a complaint with them. You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OregonStateChamber
- Post on The Oregonian’s Facebook page; tweet them at http://twitter.com/Oregonian or @Oregonian.
Please be sure to post links to the SHARK videos above.